​ Public Health – We Were There

By Amy Jennings
February 07, 2018

Some of the largest and most publicized public health events of the last several decades are profiled in the CDC’s web series “We Were There” – Toxic Shock Syndrome, E. coli O157 outbreak of 1993, ending polio in America, the first Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in 1976, and others. This fascinating lecture series outlines in detail the behind-the-scenes investigation process and the invaluable contributions from public health in solving and stopping considerable morbidity and mortality from disease outbreaks.

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Widespread Hepatitis A Outbreaks Across the US Continue

By Amy Jennings
February 07, 2018

Though having slowed in recent months, several recent widespread hepatitis A outbreaks have affected states across the country, including long-term outbreaks in California and Michigan, and more recently Utah, Colorado and Kentucky. These cases have occurred primarily among persons who are experiencing homelessness, persons who use injection and non-injection drugs, and their close direct contacts. Homelessness is a particularly significant risk factor, as the lack of access to restrooms and sinks results in poor hygiene and unsanitary conditions. People experiencing homelessness may also have underlying health conditions or drug addictions that might make their infections more severe.

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​Seasonal Influenza Activity Widespread Across the State

By Amy Jennings
February 07, 2018

Seasonal influenza is hitting our region hard as we see marked increases in flu hospitalizations and deaths. So far this season, 452 Spokane County residents have been hospitalized with lab-confirmed flu and 25 have died, compared with 222 hospitalizations and 11 deaths at this same time last year. Over the past 15 flu seasons, the current season is the first time all states in the continental US have reported widespread flu activity during the same week.

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Clearing Up Misunderstandings on Recent Flu Efficacy Reports

December 08, 2017

There is certainly lots of media, rumors and misunderstanding about a recent publication from Australia speaking to the effectiveness of this year's flu vaccine. Various sources report 10% effectiveness for a portion of the flu vaccine specific to influenza A H3N2 and the Southern Hemisphere. For a number of reasons, the Australian situation is not necessarily predictive of what we should expect in the U.S. or in Spokane County.

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